Posts Written by michael

(Not) “Born This Way”: Glee, Gaga, and the message of false love

Glee, the highly successful musical television show, appears to preach a message of self-love. One particular episode of the show, named after the “LGBT inclusive” pop single “Born This Way”, brands and promotes this love in ways both subtle as well as grotesque. This a self-love which I believe to be false and damaging for youth everywhere and through an analysis of the episode, I hope to reveal why.

The episode is based upon the assumption that “self” modifications of any kind are inherently wrong. One should never hide their “true identity”, or attempt to change that stable, internal sense of self through cosmetic surgery, and other “unnatural” alterations of the body. The show, working upon this premise, constructs its own moral framework of sorts, through which characters can come to rid themselves of shame. Through positive self-reflection and expression, the characters can achieve their own liberation. In this way, characters of all shapes, sizes and sexual orientations are given the key to attaining a positive “in your face” attitude.

Throughout the episode, viewers are given a glance at the personal histories and inner dialogues of two characters, misfit Lauren and popular Quinn. Quinn has had cosmetic surgery (a rhinoplasty) and through weight-loss and makeup, is in a constant state of “self-modification”, or at least maintenance of a “beauty” she has worked so hard to achieve. Lauren on the other hand is heavier, accepts this and in doing so represents a more rebellious archetype of ...

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